Alexandra Burke always worried she'd not have a career to return to if she took a break to have children.

The 'Hallelujah' singer opened up in June about the racism she's experienced, including being told to bleach her skin and straighten her hair, and she's found that since then, she feels much more ''comfortable'' with herself and secure in her position because she was previously convinced there was ''not much room'' for female black artists.

She reflected: ''Since that post, I feel liberated. I feel strong enough to stand by what I have said. I can stop worrying, and start really believing in myself.

''It has changed so many things. I feel comfortable in my skin and I finally think it's OK for me to have kids.

''I've always felt if I did, I'd never be able to take time out and then come back because my spot would be taken by someone else. I've always had it in my head that there's not much room for black female performers.

''But now. I've stopped being scared. I feel I can be the woman my mother raised me to be.''

The 31-year-old star - who shot to fame after winning 'The X Factor' in 2009 - is now planning to have children within the next few years, especially after her late mother, Melissa Bell, advised her to think about a family after spending so much time focusing on her career shortly before she passed away in 2017.

Alexandra said: ''I grew up with a mother who could have been a massive star, but we struggled financially throughout my childhood.

''Mum used to say to me when I was younger, 'No babies yet. Focus on work.' I knew she was right. I've worked so hard to be where I am now.

''I've toured non-stop, put out three albums, worked with charities, performed in musicals in the West End.

''And then, when Mum was dying, she'd say, 'It's OK. You can work it out. Go get me some grandchildren.'

''And she's so right. I've made a decision I am going to have children before I'm 34, and that feels great.''

The 'Broken Heels' hitmaker has had frank conversations with her boyfriend, footballer Angus MacDonald, about the experiences their children are likely to encounter because of their race.

She told Stella magazine: ''I've had conversations I've never had before in relationships.

''I talked to Angus about the fact that, if we had children, even though he is white, the kids would be seen as black. And that he needed to understand what that meant.

''I told him that if I didn't hear from my brothers for a few days I'd worry something bad had happened, or something involving the police, because that's how it is when you're black. It's part of your life.

''When I gave my mum money to buy a car, she was turned away from two Mercedes dealers because they didn't think she looked like she could afford that car.''